Rangers Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, April 27th, 2007 at 10:16 pm and is filed under Hockey, Rangers Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

(Suzy Allman for The New York Times)

With a pivotal Game 2 on tap tonight, The Post’s Jay Greenberg opines that rust from their week-long layoff is no longer an excuse for the Blueshirts. They will have to come out harder and smarter tonight, and they’ll most likely have to do so without defenseman Michal Rozsival, who is listed as day-to-day with a knee injury. Said Martin Straka of Rozsival, as quoted by The Post‘s Larry Brooks:

“When Michal is on the ice, it gives you confidence. He’s so calm with the puck in the way he skates with it and moves it. He’s so solid, the way he hits, the way he does everything. He’s been our best defenseman the last two years. It’s huge for us if he can’t play.”

The most encouraging note for Ranger fans comes from The Daily News‘ John Dellapina, who informs us that far from crest-fallen, the Blueshirts are actually irked at being counted out after a dismal Game 1 performance. Via Dellapina:

More than a few Rangers were ticked yesterday at the dismissive tone of the questions they fielded from reporters following the teams’ HSBC Arena practices in preparation for tonight’s Game 2.

Cool-headed Brendan Shanahan put it all in perspective when he said: “In the playoffs, you just have to get through days like this.” Which is what the Rangers tried to do in a self-critical but positive pre-practice meeting.

“There was a big disappointment in our room this morning before the meeting,” [Tom] Renney said. “With all due respect to Buffalo, I think our guys felt that we really needed to be better … and that we, as much as anything, cost ourselves the hockey game.”

In drawing upon their stretch-run experience, the Rangers pointed to their having immediately bounced back from seemingly crushing defeats such as the Feb. 17 battering by Philadelphia or the Feb. 24 collapse against Columbus.

“We usually responded well after” a tough loss, Shanahan said. “You think you have to do these remarkable, crazy things in the playoffs. You really don’t. You just have to draw on the best hockey you’ve played.”

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